We now spend our entire weekends and five hours during the week editing our videos, capturing content at live events, modeling, scheduling our social media posts, launching brands and connecting bloggers for potential collaborations, and other related activities.
Our brand now aims to empower women to live up to their potential and do it all in style.
We invest in producing high quality images and videos – buying editing software, working with photographers , reserving studio space, directing photos, etc. – to tell stories that delight our audience.
I never imagined that this project would allow me to follow my dreams. I went from creating images and writing quirky captions to having a real influence on people’s decisions about what to wear, where to buy, what to do and where to go.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH INSTAGRAM
If you still thought you couldn’t make money from your social media accounts, think again!
Since July 2016, I have earned an average of $1,600 dollars per month, all thanks to our Instagram account. And yes, that’s after my sister gets the part from her.
How do I do it? The answer is to have different streams of income.
For example, photos of perfectly arranged accessories (commonly known as “flat lays”) can fetch up to $10,000 each, depending on the blogger posting them.
Here are some sequences that I suggest taking advantage of if you want to be a successful influencer.
1. Sponsored Posts
It’s not always about your follower count, but rather the number of people who engage with your content and look forward to each of your posts. Many brands are moving away from working with digital influencers, preferring to tap into smaller blogger audiences.
When you’re starting out, building brand visibility is a great way to secure some collaborations. As you gain traction, brands will discover you and email you about different opportunities.
Each company has its own specific rules for sponsorship, so don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Research and engage with them on social media before initiating contact.
The key is to only associate with brands that fit your aesthetic. This way, your readers perceive each collaboration as authentic and buy what you are trying to sell them.
Within six months of launching our platform on YouTube and Instagram, we received our first sponsorship opportunity. A jewelry box subscription company found us via a hashtag and reached out.
Their reps offered to send us free pieces every month in exchange for a few shares on Instagram.
Since then we have received products from Coach, TOMS Shoes, Pura Vida Bracelets and other brands of clothing and accessories.
FTC guidelines require you to identify your sponsored posts. We typically include a branded hashtag in our captions (for example, when we partnered with Coach, it was #CoachHoliday) in addition to the required ones like #ad or #sponsored.
We normally charge at least $75 per sponsored post, but we don’t get paid for all collaborations. Sponsored posts add up to about $600 of our revenue each month, which we split evenly.
Some brands send their products as gifts: to date, we’ve received $3,000 worth of merchandise.
Because we receive most of our accessories for free from name brands, we’ve been able to cut our shopping budgets in half, saving us a combined $500 per month.
2. YouTube advertising
Monetizing your videos on YouTube can earn you a passive income stream . There’s even a bonus if these ads convert!
You can monetize your videos once Youtube accepts you in their Partner Program .
So far, we’ve only made about $50 from YouTube ads, but the more your numbers grow, the higher your revenue.
Our next step will be to join one of the many YouTube networks to increase our earnings. Depending on the terms of the agreement, these networks regularly promote your videos to a large audience and seek sponsorship opportunities on your behalf in exchange for a percentage of their earnings.
3. Private consultancies
Don’t underestimate the skills you can gain from a side project. Creating content and growing my social media helped me learn how to edit with Final Cut Pro and Photoshop, how to create marketing materials like brochures with graphic design tools, and how to advertise on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I then monetized these skills by offering my services to local business owners and startups. I’ve posted ads on Craigslist, handed out business cards at networking events, used LinkedIn to generate leads, and promoted myself in Facebook groups.
I eventually struck a consistent deal last summer with a small business owner.
I support your bag company’s social media efforts with content production (image and video creation) and marketing (ads on each platform).
This activity pays me around $1,200 per month.
I also occasionally help other entrepreneurs manage their social media accounts and become more visible online. My rate starts at $40 an hour, and I’ve made about $500 in the three months since I started offering the service.
I never set out to be an influencer . I have always loved connecting with people and bonding over common interests such as fashion, travel and food.
I married my love of writing with my passion for capturing moments and in the process creating this lifestyle brand. In the future, I can see that we will become a digital media magazine that will also offer a line of products and services.
How can you possibly get paid to do what you love?
Your turn: Are you interested in monetizing your social media platforms? Why or why not?